And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine…
Crime and Punishment
The punishment is supposed to fit the crime -- but maybe not at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Six DEA agents -- who say they accidentally left 23-year-old student Daniel Chong-- locked in a holding cell for five days with no food -- water -- or toilet -- will not be fired -- or even demoted.
Two of the agents were suspended without pay for five and seven days.
The other four were issued letters of reprimand.
That is not good enough for the Justice Department -- nor Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
An assistant attorney general wrote --
"Failure to impose significant discipline on these employees further demonstrates the need for a systematic review of DEA's disciplinary process."
Grassley has been trying to get answers for three years.
"Failing to answer my questions doesn't show that they've learned from the mistakes made in Mister Chong's detention."
The DEA says it has updated its procedures in monitoring detainees.
A former Veterans Affairs worker admits he stole $150,000 -- and spent the money on strippers -- prostitutes -- and gambling.
Glenn Alan Bates says he took the money while working at a Michigan VA retail store.
The investigation started in 2013 -- after a store audit uncovered the missing cash.
The Detroit News says Bates -- has a long criminal record -- and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Let There Be Lights
Finally -- The Big Apple is fighting to keep Times Square bright.
A 2012 Federal Transportation Law is putting the iconic site's oversized billboards in jeopardy.
It is applying the 1965 Highway Beautification Act -- to the area -- limiting the legal size of the ads.
The city could lose 10 percent of its federal highway funds-- if it doesn't comply.
But talks are said to be underway-- aimed at getting an exemption.
The Wall Street Journal says the ads in Times Square bring in $23 million a year -- and are obviously a major tourist draw.